Jan 16 2006

“Have you written anything I’ve seen?”

Published by at 10:12 pm under Devil To Pay,Greta,Who is this person?

There’s a certain satisfaction to the act of filling in the occupation field of a form with the word “screenwriter.” It’s even more satisfying when it’s the truth — when, after long years of struggle, you’re finally making a living at something your mother rightly considered a deranged fantasy.
But the novelty wears thin when you’ve been doing it for a while, yet you still can’t provide a positive response to the inevitable question that comes from the people reading that form:
“Oh, you’re a screenwriter? Have you written anything I’ve seen?”
Civilians don’t understand the vagaries of this business. They can’t make sense of the Hollywood development machine. They’re puzzled by any industry that would spend huge piles of money developing a product that’s never going to get made.
Stupid civilians.
No. I haven’t been produced yet. But, I’m looking for 2006 to change all that, because I’ve got three decent chances of seeing it happen.
First is a thriller called SLEEPWALKER, which I wrote for Intermedia. It’s being produced by Mark Johnson and Scott Kroopf (men who have been involved with some excellent films, but none so sublime as Galaxy Quest and Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure). SLEEPWALKER is a remake of a Swedish film of the same name, so it was not an original idea of mine. In fact, I was not even the first writer brought on for the remake. Still, it’s something I’m proud of.
As I’ve said before, nothing’s a sure thing in this business. And this project doesn’t even have a director yet. But I have a good feeling about it anyway. And I’m not a superstitious person, so I’m not afraid of jinxing it.
Next up is a script called GRETA. That’s the one that was almost lost to the ages. A producer/director named Rick Rosenthal is planning to produce GRETA on a low budget next summer, with the very cool music video maker Nancy Bardawil directing.
Again, nothing’s a sure thing, but this one has a real good chance of going, due to the scale of the production and the people involved. These aren’t guys who develop movies. They make them.
The third of my great hopes for ’06 is another of my original screenplays, a thriller called DEVIL TO PAY. It’s setup at Echo Lake Entertainment, and Lucy Liu is attached to star as a divorced mother who is forced to rob the bank where she works in order to save her kidnapped children. (UPDATE – 5/31/06: Antonia Bird is going to direct DEVIL TO PAY!)
These are not all of my projects, but they’re the ones that stand the best chance of seeing the light of a film projector in the foreseeable future. Accordingly, I hope to be writing more about them on this site, to chronicle their progress.
Unless I really did jinx them just now.

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